Before adopting new technology, a business must understand and document its current processes to avoid conflicts and contradictions with new approaches.
For example, Slade said, a retailer who changes payment systems and now carries more cash may be subject to stricter regulations or have to increase insurance levels.
“Organizations, when they’ve found the right technology and they are excited about the benefits, they get excited, you know?“ Mascarenhas said. ”They can’t wait to go live, but they have no idea the impact this is going to have on, not just their employee or their customer, but on their operating model.“
To better understand the cascading effects new technology can have on a company’s operations, it’s important to gather all documentation about how the organization runs. These materials range from the computer code new technology will interact with to training handbooks, equipment manuals, product guides and more.
Again, it’s important to put people first in a business process design because as companies grow, some documents are built ad hoc by employees.
Mascarenhas said she worked with a retailer recently where an employee tracked important information in a separate spreadsheet outside the official system because it was easier to work with.
“So you have this important work and it’s sitting on someone’s hard drive, and if you aren’t careful, that’s something that’s going to get missed in the transition,” Mascarenhas said.